Best C-Segment car with potential to be even better
By lahrs37 on
2014 Mazda MAZDA3 i Touring 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl 6M)
This car is really fun to dive and it is also nice to look at. After making a compromise with my wife to get a four door hatchback, I assumed that driving excitement would have to be banished. Not so! This car is a blast to toss around in the corners. The seats hold you very well in place and manual transmission is one of the best I have sampled. With all of that said I do wish that some of the money spent on technology whiz-bang was diverted to more sturdy interior materials. The stalks coming off the steering wheel feel like they might break if hit too hard and the silver plastic door handles remind you every time you exit the car that this is no BMW.
I really do like the standard push button start and the advanced keyless entry. I also really like the suspension set up. The car is begging to be thrown into a corner faster than is otherwise prudent. On the flip side, you can easily get over the EPA estimate for gas mileage if you want to. I also like the feel of the leather wrapped steering wheel. It feels meaty and simply satisfying to hold. Lastly, I got the car in soul red and in person it really is the best color. An up charge of $300 is a bit ridiculous, but it really makes all of the character lines pop.
The steering wheel stalks and the center console could definitely be made of a heftier material. There is a big gap between the dashboard and the door. The seat cloth material feels cheap and easy to rip. With an iPhone plugged in to the usb port, the car can't figure out whether to connect via bluetooth or usb. Also, when I get in the car it will automatically start playing a track from my phone without any prompting, which is a bit annoying. The electric power steering is numb (this goes for all electric steering) and this car is loud on the highway. The headlights are not automatic which is just kind of odd with all of the other tech baked in. No backup camera without $1600 tech package.